Thomas Thompson (American author)

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Thomas Thompson (October 3, 1933 – October 29, 1982) was a journalist and author. [1]

He was born in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas in 1955. He then worked as a reporter and editor at the Houston Press . [2]

The Houston Press was a Scripps Howard afternoon newspaper, founded in 1911, in Houston, Texas. Under the leadership of founding editor Paul C. Edwards (1911–16), Marcellus E. Foster, known as "Mefo" (1927–37), and George Carmack (1946–64), the newspaper developed a reputation for flashy stories about violence and sex and for exposés of political malfeasance. It ceased publication in 1964.

Thompson joined Life Magazine in 1961 and became an editor and staff writer. [1] While at Life he covered the JFK assassination and was the first writer to locate Lee Harvey Oswald's home and wife. Among his stories were coverage of the making of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, in which he revealed the group's extensive drug use; an in-depth look at Frank Sinatra and his alleged Mafia ties; and the 40th and 50th birthdays of Elizabeth Taylor.

<i>Life</i> (magazine) American magazine

Life was an American magazine published weekly until 1972, as an intermittent "special" until 1978, and as a monthly from 1978-2000. During its golden age from 1936-1972, Life was a wide-ranging weekly general interest magazine known for the quality of its photography.

Lee Harvey Oswald American former marine who assassinated John F. Kennedy

Lee Harvey Oswald was an American Marxist and former U.S. Marine who assassinated United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Oswald was honorably released from active duty in the Marine Corps into the reserve and defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959. He lived in the Belarusian city of Minsk until June 1962, when he returned to the United States with his Russian wife, Marina, and eventually settled in Dallas. Five government investigations concluded that Oswald shot and killed Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository as the President traveled by motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

<i>Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band</i> 1967 studio album by The Beatles

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released on 26 May 1967 in the United Kingdom and 2 June 1967 in the United States, it spent 27 weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart and 15 weeks at number one in the US. It was lauded by critics for its innovations in production, songwriting and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and for providing a musical representation of its generation and the contemporary counterculture. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour.

His book Hearts (1971) concerned the rivalry between Houston surgeons Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley at the dawn of the heart transplant era. Richie: The Ultimate Tragedy Between One Decent Man and the Son He Loved (1973) was the story of a Long Island man who killed his drug-addicted son. This was made into a TV-movie called The Death of Richie . [1]

Michael DeBakey American cardiac surgeon

Michael Ellis DeBakey was a Lebanese-American cardiac surgeon and vascular surgeon, scientist, and medical educator who became the chancellor emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, director of The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, and senior attending surgeon of The Methodist Hospital in Houston, with a career spanning 75 years.

Denton Cooley American heart surgeon

Denton Arthur Cooley was an American heart and cardiothoracic surgeon famous for performing the first implantation of a total artificial heart. Cooley was also founder and surgeon in-chief of The Texas Heart Institute, chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at clinical partner Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, consultant in Cardiovascular Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital and a clinical professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

<i>The Death of Richie</i> 1977 television film directed by Paul Wendkos

The Death of Richie is a 1977 American made-for-television drama film based on Richie, a non-fiction book by Thomas Thompson about the 1972 death of George Richard "Richie" Diener Jr. at the hands of his father, who was ultimately not charged with the shooting death of his son. The film premiered on NBC on January 10, 1977.

Thompson's most successful book, Lost! (1975), was his account of the true story of two men and one woman who were lost at sea after a storm in the Pacific. Thompson's Lost! was retold in the made-for-TV movie Lost! in 1986. [3]

Lost! is a Canadian drama film, directed by Peter Rowe and released in 1986. Based on the book of the same name by Thomas Thompson, the film centres on three survivors of a shipwreck, two brothers and one of their wives, whose chances of survival are threatened by the more religious brother's conviction that they must trust in God to save them rather than making any effort of their own. The film stars Kenneth Welsh as Jim, Michael Hogan as Bob, and Helen Shaver as Linda.

Blood and Money (1976) was based on a true story of scandal and the murders of Houston socialite Joan Robinson Hill and her husband John Hill, and the alleged involvement of Mrs. Hill's father, Ash Robinson, a wealthy Texas oil magnate. [1] The book sold four million copies in fourteen languages. There were three lawsuits against Thompson after the book's publication. Ann Kurth, John Hill's second wife, sued Thompson for his description of her as a "sex bomb". Kurth's suit and that of a Longview, Texas police officer, were both dismissed. [1] [4] Ash Robinson, the father of Joan Robinson Hill, also sued Thompson for his portrayal in the book; Robinson was unsuccessful in his suit against Thompson. [5] Robinson had been allowed to read the book prior to its publication and initially said he approved of what Thompson had written about him. His only criticism was that he believed the book was too long. Thompson's publishers withheld his royalties until all suits connected with the book were settled. [6]

Joan Robinson Hill American socialite and equestrian

Joan Olive Robinson Hill was a socialite and equestrian from Houston, Texas. Her unexplained death at age 38 led to her husband, John Hill, becoming the first person to be indicted by the state of Texas on the charge of murder by omission. The case precipitated a series of events that included the 1972 murder of John Hill and, two years later, the fatal police shooting of the man accused of that murder. Adopted as an infant by wealthy oil tycoon Davis "Ash" Robinson and his wife, Rhea, Joan became an equestrian at a young age. She excelled and continued the sport into adulthood, ultimately winning several national titles.

Longview, Texas City in Texas, United States

Longview is the forty-fifth largest city in the state of Texas. The city is mostly located in Gregg County, of which it is the county seat; a small part of Longview extends into the western part of neighboring Harrison County. Longview is located in East Texas, where Interstate 20 and U.S. Highways 80 and 259 converge just north of the Sabine River. According to the 2010 U.S. census, the city had a population of 80,455. The estimated population in 2017 was 81,522. Longview is the principal city of the Longview metropolitan statistical area, comprising Gregg, Upshur, and Rusk counties. The population of the metropolitan area as of 2017 census estimates is 217,481.

Thompson also wrote Serpentine (1979), the story of convicted murderer Charles Sobhraj. Thompson wrote one novel, Celebrity (1982), which was on the national best-seller list for six months. [1] That novel became the basis for a five-hour mini series in 1984.

Thompson received the National Headliner Award for investigative reporting. He was also the 1977 Edgar Award winner for Blood and Money. [1]

Thompson's family believed that the liver disease that caused his death was contracted in the Far East while investigating the Charles Sobhraj saga. When he became ill, Thompson was teaching writing at the University of Southern California. [1] Among his survivors were two sons, Kirk and Scott. [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "'Celebrity' Author Dies of Cancer". Observer-Reporter Washington, PA. October 30, 1982. p. B-10. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  2. Applegate, Edd (1996). Literary Journalism: A Biographical Dictionary of Writers and Editors, p. 263. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  3. "Sea tragedy recreated in gym". Toronto Star , November 2, 1985.
  4. "Libel Suits Upset 'Creative Ability'". Brownsville Herald. October 14, 1977. p. 2. Retrieved August 14, 2014 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. Arrillaga, Pauline (March 19, 1999). "'Blood and Money' mystery endures" (PDF). Laredo Morning Times. p. 6A. Archived from the original (Portable Document Format) on October 20, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  6. Boyarsky, Bill (January 2, 1978). "Trial's results make novelists cringe". St. Petersburg Times. p. 4B. Retrieved August 8, 2014.